Preheat the oven to 170c/350f/gas mark 4 before you begin
making your biscuits.
Sift the flours together into a mixing bowl; add the sugar and
orange zest. Mix well; for best results use an electric hand
Add the butter. Using just the tips of your fingers, rub
together the ingredients until the mixture resembles fine
When all the butter is evenly mixed in, make a well in the
centre and add the syrup and the egg.
Mix well, drawing in any of the flour left at the sides of the
bowl and stop as soon as a ball has formed.
Place the dough onto your clean worktop. Divide into two and
squash the dough into two even-sized flat discs. Cover and chill
until ready to use, or roll out immediately.
Place the dough on a sheet of parchment and begin by gently
squashing the dough down with a rolling pin or your hands. Cover
with a second sheet of parchment and then use the rolling pin to
roll out properly.
The top sheet of paper may crinkle from time to time, just peel
it off and smooth it down gently before starting to roll
Gently roll the dough until it is 5mm thick all over, then
transfer the whole sheet of rolled dough still sandwiched between
its sheets of parchment to a baking tray and place in the fridge to
chill for at least 20 - 30 minutes before cutting.
Biscuit cutters are widely available online, or you can choose
to make your own. To do this, identify the shape you want to trace
and lay a sheet of parchment on top, carefully tracing around the
shape. Remember that you can ice on much more detail than needs to
be reflected in the shape of the biscuit. Carefully cut the
templates out with scissors.
To use the dough efficiently cut the biscuits out as close
together as possible. Lift each biscuit onto the parchment covered
baking tray and make sure they are not too close together as the
dough will spread a little on baking. Any trimmings can be
re-rolled a couple of times.
Evenly space the trays in the oven and cook for 14-18 minutes,
depending on your oven.
When the biscuits are evenly cooked and just beginning to turn
a golden colour remove the trays from the oven and transfer the
whole sheet of parchment to a cooling rack. Do this carefully as
they will be quite fragile and hot!
Cool totally before starting to ice.
Now the icing can begin!
4 egg whites
900g icing sugar
Place the egg whites into a mixing bowl and add the icing
Whisk or beat for about 5 minutes if using an electric beater
or whisk, or for longer if using a wooden spoon. Whisk slowly to
start with to avoid clouds of icing sugar covering you and your
Continue whisking until the ingredients form a thick, smooth
paste that is bright white in colour and has the consistency of
toothpaste. To add colour, just stir in some colour paste until you
get the colour you desire.
To make the flood icing, just add a bit of water, a little at a
time until it is the consistency of runny honey.
If you are not using the icing immediately, cover the surface
with cling film to stop it drying out and refrigerate.
To start, cut your piping bag straight across to achieve a
clean icing line. Always use a clean piping bag, so that your icing
colours stay lovely and clean.